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Bedouin Culture in the Bible$
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Clinton Bailey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121827

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121827.001.0001

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Bedouin Culture in the Biblical Home

Bedouin Culture in the Biblical Home

(p.34) 2 Bedouin Culture in the Biblical Home
Bedouin Culture in the Bible

Clinton Bailey

Yale University Press

In describing its main early characters as nomads, the Hebrew Bible provides us with features of their material culture and social behaviour that correspond closely to facets of pre-modern Bedouin life in the same areas: the Negev, Sinai, and the hills and deserts of eastern Canaan. These parallels are particularly evident when seen against the reasons that engendered them, explaining, for example, why the early Israelites dwelled in tents during their migrations and thatched booths at the end of summer, ate unleavened bread, quail, and manna, gave names to desert places, utilized stars in the desert sky and desert plants, and extended hospitality to travellers. The patriarch Abraham’s reception of the angels disguised as men who had come to announce the forthcoming motherhood of his barren wife, Sarah, for example, recalls Bedouin hospitality in all its detail.

Keywords:   Thatched booths, Unleavened bread, Manna and quail, Place names, Hospitality

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